As we enter a new year of dealing with the global pandemic, a spike in new cases has many concerned with a possible repeat of 2020 – a time of remote learning, closed businesses and shutdowns across the country.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday (Jan 3.) that it has expanded the Emergency Use Authorization of a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to include children 12 to 15.
“Today’s decision by the FDA to further expand the Emergency Use Authorization of a booster dose of our vaccine is critical to help us ultimately defeat this pandemic,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said. “Broad use of boosters is essential to preserving a high level of protection against this disease and reducing the rate of hospitalizations.”
The FDA also noted that younger children who are vaccinated and without special health issues do not need to receive the booster shot.
“Children ages 5-11 who are fully vaccinated and are not immunocompromised do not need to be boosted at this time,” the FDA tweeted Monday. “But the FDA will continue to review information and communicate with the public if data emerges suggesting booster doses are needed for this pediatric population.”
New Covid infections have hit a pandemic high in the U.S., due in large part to the highly contagious omicron variant, the rise in cases has undoubtedly changed the way The White House will move forward in the new year. Late last month, President Joe Biden announced that student loan payments would be deferred until May 2022.
The reversal came less than two weeks after White House press secretary Jen Psaki noted that the administration intended on restarting federal student loans in February 2022, a decision that drew harsh criticism as millions of Americans were still working to recover from the personal and financial effects of the pandemic.
Biden also announced a plan to distribute 500 million at-home rapid tests for free to Americans — the administration’s biggest investment in rapid testing to date.
“Your choice can be the difference between life or death,” Biden said in a stern message to those still unvaccinated.
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